California Plumbing License: How to Become a Plumber in California

The first step in becoming a licensed plumber in California is to acquire the necessary education and hands-on training. There are a variety of options for this, including apprenticeships, technical colleges, and trade schools with state-approved training programs. These are usually needed in order to obtain your California plumbing license.

How to Get Your California Plumbing License

A High School Diploma or GED Certificate (General Educational Development) is required for most paths to a license in California. Getting an associate’s degree in plumbing technology from a community college can take about four years.

Apprenticeships and Vocational Training

A plumbing apprenticeship is the most common way to learn the skills needed for your career as a plumber. It can provide a comprehensive education in plumbing as well as other construction fields.

Work Experience

To qualify for licensure as a journeyman or master, you must have two years (4,000 hours) of hands-on experience in the installation, maintenance, service or repair of plumbing systems. You may substitute directly related academic or technical training for up to one-half of the hours.

California Plumbing License Exams

In order to get your California plumbing license, you must pass the law and business exam as well as the plumbing trade exam. Both exams use a multiple-choice format. The CSLB offers study guides online to help you prepare for these tests.

Obtaining Necessary Plumbing Insurance

In addition to passing the law and business examination, you must also submit proof of workers’ compensation and general liability insurance for your company. This provides medical coverage for employees, and reimbursement for lost wages if someone gets injured on the job.